MORE than 30,000 households in Dorset are set to be impacted if benefits don't rise in line with inflation, analysis shows.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt is expected to announce in his medium-term fiscal plan on October 31 any decisions relating to the rise in benefits payments.

The analysis, by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, comes as the new Chancellor reeled back on measures announced in Liz Truss' mini-budget - dropping plans to cut the basic rate of income tax and changing the 'energy price guarantee' from a two year fixed rate to a six month one.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has said 31,383 households in Dorset will be affected by any decision to means-tested benefits - including 15,476 in the West Dorset and South Dorset parliamentary constituencies.

Katie Schmuecker, principal policy advisor for the charity, said: “We know millions of families have already gone without the essentials this year, missing meals, not cooking hot food or having hot showers.

"We know people have gone into arrears on their bills or taking on debt to pay for the basics.

"It is unconscionable that the Government should be considering cutting their ability to pay for what they need," she added.

JRF says politicians need to "think long and hard" about withholding money from their constituents, saying that the basic rate of benefits is at a historic low in real terms.

Some Conservatives have come out in favour of a more generous uplift – Penny Mordaunt, a cabinet minister, has said that it "makes sense" to raise benefits by inflation.

A spokesperson for the Department of Work and Pensions said: “The Secretary of State commences her statutory annual review of benefits and State Pensions from late October using the most recent prices and earnings indices available.

“We are committed to looking after the most vulnerable which is why we’ve delivered at least £1,200 of support to families this winter, while also saving households an average of £1,000 a year through our Energy Price Guarantee.

"This support is on top of the annual working-age benefits bill, which is over £87 billion.”